GOA-ON is a collaborative international network to detect and understand the drivers of ocean acidification in estuarine-coastal-open ocean environments, the resulting impacts on marine ecosystems, and to make the information available to optimize modelling studies. The network is fundamental to providing early warning of the impacts of ocean acidification on natural ecosystems, wild and aquaculture fisheries, coastal protection, tourism and local economies. The network provides key input to communities, industry and governments seeking to develop action plans, best practices, and mitigation or adaptation strategies to address ocean acidification impacts.

Global Through Local Scales

GOA-ON is organized at the global scale, reaching out to members all over the world who are working at local through global scales. Our mission is globally based for three important reasons:

  1. We need information and data products that can inform policy and the public with respect to ocean acidification and implications for the overall ecosystem health (status) of the planet.
  2. Ocean acidification processes are occurring at global scales; therefore, we need to go beyond local measurements and observe ocean acidification globally in order to understand its drivers correctly.
  3. Insufficient observations and understanding impede the development of robust predictive skills regarding ocean acidification and impacts. While we need enhanced coverage at local scales, successful international coordination of these observations will allow for nesting of these local observations within a global context.

High-level Goals

Goal 1: Improve our understanding of global OA conditions

  • Determine status and spatial / temporal patterns in carbon chemistry, assessing the generality of response to ocean acidification.
  • Document and evaluate variation in carbon chemistry to infer mechanisms (including biological) driving ocean acidification.
  • Quantify rates of change, trends, and identify areas of heightened vulnerability or resilience.

Goal 2: Improve our understanding of ecosystem response to OA

  • Track biological responses in concert with physical/chemical changes.
  • Quantify rates of change and identify locations and species of heightened vulnerability or resilience.

Goal 3: Acquire and exchange data and knowledge necessary to optimize modeling for OA and its impacts

  • Provide spatially and temporally resolved biogeochemical data for use in parameterizing and validating models, including societally-relevant forecasts and projections.

A Nested Approach

The three high-level goals for each geographic environment will be realized using a nested approach differentiating between:

  • Critical minimum measurements (Level 1)
  • Enhanced measurements to further the understanding of primary mechanisms (Level 2)
  • Opportunistic or experimental measurements (Level 3)

Detailed information about the GOA-ON background, design, implementation, and data strategy can be found here:

Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network: Requirements and Governance Plan (JA Newton, RA Feely, EB Jewett, P Williamson, J Mathis)

GOA-ON Network

The Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network is an integrated, international research effort closely linked with other international research programs. The diagram below documents the primary international entities responsible for coordination of GOA-ON activities.